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Public Health Response

During a Public Health Emergency:

You may be asked to go to a special Point of Dispensing (POD) site.

We will use the media, this website and the Public Health Hotline
(694-4040) to tell you where your POD is located.

  • Only individuals who have been potentially exposed to the disease causing the public health emergency will be able to receive antibiotics
    or vaccines at a POD.
  • PODs are for providing medication to PREVENT someone from getting sick.
  • Persons who are already sick with the disease will not be able to seek treatment at a POD.

In the event of a disaster or emergency, the Health Department has an emergency plan to help protect the community.This includes sharing information on ways residents can protect themselves and a plan to set up medication clinics, as necessary. We also participate with the the emergency response community to work together on any public health emergency.

Call the Public Health Hotline (828) 694-4040 for updates about a crisis or event.

Emergency Shelters
Listen to WHKP-AM or WTZQ-AM radio or go online to blueridgenow.com (Hendersonville Times-News).

Preparedness for public health emergencies is a priority. We continually plan, train and exercise activities to be able to respond quickly to natural disasters, bioterrorism or disease outbreaks. Public health emergencies can include natural events (flooding, hurricanes, winter weather, etc.) and planned acts (weapons used for mass destruction and bioterrorism). Specially trained staff from our Epidemiology Team (EPI Team) are available 24 hours every day to respond to communicable disease outbreaks and public health threats.

CDC's Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) has large quantities of medicine and medical supplies to protect the American public if there is a public health emergency (terrorist attack, flu outbreak, earthquake) severe enough to cause local supplies to run out.

The Preparedness Coordinator maintains and updates a Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Plan to receive and distribute medicine and medical supplies as quickly as possible in Henderson County. All medicine from the SNS is FREE.

When Disaster Strikes—North Carolina Residents and the Strategic National Stockpile discusses the SNS and what to do and where to go if there is ever a need for SNS supplies.

Register for Henderson County’s Nixle emergency alert system by texting your zip code to 888777 or going online to www.hendersonsheriff.org and clicking the Nixle logo.

For more information contact:

Anita Glance
Preparedness Coordinator
(828) 694-6066

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Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed. 

Being prepared for a public health emergency or disaster gives you your best chance of survival. There are steps you can take to prepare for the unexpected.

  1. Prepare a basic emergency kit.
  2. Make a plan.
  3. Be informed.

ReadyNC.org is North Carolina's campaign to prepare for all types of emergencies. Their website has multiple resources and lists to help you prepare. (Español)

The ReadyNC mobile app (iPhone and Android) is an all-in-one free tool for emergency preparedness in North Carolina. The FEMA app is a similar resource.

Ready.gov has many resources to help you prepare, plan and stay informed. This page explains what an emergency communication plan is and why you should make one. It also provides tips and templates on how to make a plan.

Ready Kids features age-appropriate, step-by-step instructions on what kids and families can do to prepare.


A bioterrorism attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs (agents) to cause illness or death in people, animals or plants. These agents are typically found in nature, but it is possible that they could be changed to increase their ability to cause disease, make them resistant to current medicines or to increase their ability to be spread into the environment. Biological agents can be spread through the air, through water or in food. 

Natural Disasters and Severe Weather

Natural disasters affect thousands of people every year. Know what your risks are and prepare to protect yourself and your family.

Are you ready for...?

Floods (Español) are one of the most common dangers in NC.

Hurricanes (Español) in NC usually occur between August and October.

Thunderstorms can produce strong winds, lightning or hail (Español) that can be deadly and damaging.

Tornadoes (Español) can occur with little or no warning. March through May is peak tornado season for NC.

Wildfire Smoke can affect your health. During an event check the air quality daily. Then learn how to protect your health from the ill effects of wildfire smoke.

Winter weather is unpredictable due to NC's proximity to the Appalachian Mountains, Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Stream.

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Pandemic Flu

A pandemic is a global disease outbreak. It is determined by how the disease spreads, not how many deaths it causes. Are there currently any flu outbreaks? What is being done to track them? Read more about pandemics and the current flu situation in the United States and abroad.

When a new influenza A virus emerges, a flu pandemic can occur. Because the virus is new, the human population has little to no immunity against it. With no immunity in the population, the virus spreads quickly from person-to-person worldwide.

Be aware that during such an outbreak, health care providers and hospitals may be overwhelmed. No vaccine would be available in the early stages, and effective antivirals may be in limited supply.

A pandemic flu could impact the general public with widespread travel restrictions and school or business closings.

Four flu pandemics have occurred since 1918, each with different characteristics.

For information about seasonal flu, visit HendersonCountyFlu.org.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)

What is Avian Influenza?

Check the current status of HPAI in NC


American Red Cross Shelters

CDC - Emergency Preparedness and Response

FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency

Henderson County Emergency Management

National Weather Service

North Carolina Public Health Preparedness & Response


SNS - CDC's Strategic National Stockpile


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Department of Public Health • 1200 Spartanburg Highway, Suite 100 • Hendersonville, NC 28792 • (828) 692-4223

Last updated October 16, 2017